WADI promotes self-help programs since 1992 in the Middle East – Israel, Jordan and Iraq. In our projects practical help is combined with monitoring of and lobbying for citizen rights: rehabilitation projects for long-term prisoners, literacy programs, education and training for women, public awareness of and fight against domestic violence as well as campaigns against FGM (Female Genital Mutilation).
Helping people help themselves
Any effective change is based on self-responsible decisions by the people affected. Long-term development needs not alms but the support of those who strive to improve their living conditions. Democratic rights and opportunities for individuals to decide their own future, are the indispensable condition for development aid not to remain charity.
Fighting underdevelopment, poverty and discrimination needs more than to supply food, to drill wells and distribute seeds. Disaster relief can not be seperated from the question of granting rights and the freedom of the individual to determine his own future. Therefore, development assistance must take party. The supposedly “impartial” help becomes biased in the worst way, where it leaves the social causes of distress untouched and operates within structures that perpetuate injustice and poverty.
Party must be taken on the side of people who were cut off from their right to happiness and a decent life. Development therefore always means interfering in social conditions. The programs of WADI take sides – and yet are independent of political parties. Project partners are local initiatives which advocate outside of state and party structures for a concrete improvement of conditions.
Only democratization boosts prospects
The experience of taking agency and accomplishing change is often an important step towards overcoming the disenfranchisement. This includes not only the protection and respect for individual rights, but the possibility to effectively take a stance for ones own interests. Nationalist and Islamist ideologies which demand total submission of the individual do not appeal to self-confident people who have learned to take their affairs in their own hands. Without democracy, there are no prospects for a “better” Middle East.
To continue our work and if possible also to expand
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